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tv   Americas News HQ  FOX News  July 13, 2019 11:00am-12:00pm PDT

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eric: barry has made landfall. this happened about two minutes ago in louisiana, downgraded for now to a tropical storm. we're expecting an update any minute now from the national hurricane center. as tropical storm barry weakens to that lower level, but you know barry's already caused a a lot of trouble as it's making landfall, the storm knocking out power for more than 70,000 people and heavy rain that could last for days down south. welcome to a you new hour of america's news headquarters. i'm eric shawn. arthel: i'm arthel neville. tropical storm barry moving slowly and packing sustained winds of 75 miles per hour. millions bracing for dangerous storm surge and massive flooding.
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in fact, let's go to the national hurricane center for this update. >> when it comes to the impact, down to a tropical storm force. but we've got landfall. we've been waiting on that for a while. it's really because of the slow movement of the storm. here's the center, slowly moving to the north and the precipitation not wrapping around the entire center. it's interesting when you think about a hurricane and tropical storm, it's not exactly what we see when we look at a textbook version of this. the winds are there. we're hearing of damage in some of these area. that is incredible wind. look at the rainfall, some of the rain we've been talking about that's been offshore has moved into southeast louisiana, the south shore and north shore of lake pontchartrain. look at the rain bands, moving up as far as jackson, mississippi, brandon, mississippi. that will push further north. not just along the coast, but heavy rain northward. we've mentioned this area here, the rain bands, the storm is moving rather quickly but at the
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same time if you examine the entire morning, the same areas continue to get heavy rain. that could lead to more problems. really looking at the rest of louisiana a and some places on the north side not getting some of this rain yet but they will. it is coming. i'll try to adjust the satellite to get the latest information. that way we can really show this, all this moisture it's moving north. you're going to start seeing that rainfall really happen around louisiana and just because it hasn't rained yet doesn't mean it's not going to. the baton rouge area, lafayette, a lot of the rain is on the way. here's the forecast. this is also the latest forecast that we have. these tropical storm force winds, it's just a large area right around the center of this thing and really well outside the cone and even looking at the center, look how slow the movement is with time. just real slow movement. we have plenty of time to get more of that rain. that's what makes this so dangerous with time. and really at at this stage, think about the moisture from the satellite, you don't want to look at the cone right now or
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the forecast. it's just all that moisture continuing to stream northward and cause more problems when it comes to the flooding. and here is that forecast for the rainfall. it is a lot of rain. there's been adjustments back and forth, maybe 2 or 3 inches. but we're still expecting some spots of 10 to 15 inches of rain around portions of baton rouge, just to the west of lake pontchartrain and a large area, 6 to 10 inches of rain, portions of louisiana up to arkansas, mississippi, into tennessee. there's problems well inland. another issue is the storm surge. a lot of flooding associated with the storm surge, still water levels in some places are very high, 3 to 5-foot along the mississippi coast and stretching into the wrigley and lake pontchartrain, 3 to 5-foot and the entire louisiana coast, 3 to 6-foot of storm surge, elevated water. takes time for the water to come down. as long as we have the slow movement of the storm and the winds keep pushing the water inward. we'll keep you updated on the
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latest on the storm right here on the national hurricane center. eric: that's the latest from the national hurricane center and it's the start of mass itche days of expected flooding with the system. it will hit louisiana, mississippi, alb alabama, kentu, tennessee and india a tha indiay wednesday. right now the focus is on landfall in louisiana. we have casey seagal with the latest. >> reporter: you heard the forecasting from the national hurricane center talking on and off about lake pontchartrain. look at lake pontchartrain. you can see why this is an area of concern. you have such high levels, in fact, this wall is 7 feet above sea level. for perspective, the dock back there, and that little catwalk, that is 5 feet. it disappears at times with the waves. that gives you a sense of how high it is.
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if we continue walking over this way, you can see you clearly have a bunch of homes that are lining lake pontchartrain and these are homes that are certainly in jeopardy of flooding, but they are built to withstand high water. they are largely on stilts, as you can see, and that certainly helps when these water levels keep going on up. now, we want to show you some video of additional problem areas that we're finding here as the day goes on and barry continues to make its way across land. one of them is south of here, lafuge parish. this is video distributed by the sheriff's office there. it shows the road, louisiana 1, with fast-moving water rushing across it. the shot is looking at the south lafuge parish levee. also issues reported with water overtopping a levee in a remote area of south plaqueman's
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parish, that's at an area called point celeste. we understand emergency equipment is being brought in to try to make repairs. that was an area that was already under mandatory evacuation orders because it is so low-lying. that is one thing that is consistent here, eric. people who live here and if you have a house here, it's almost expected that at some point you're going to get flooding, which is why they build the houses up and ironically even though we're here in a spot that is taking on water and roads are closed, a lot of the residents that we've talked to aren't exactly nervous because they don't want to downplay what's going on. however, they say they have seen a whole lot worse. back to you. eric: hopefully -- we all hope it will not get worse. casey, thanks so much. arthel: thanks, casey. the national hurricane center downgrading barry to a tropical storm, happening minutes ago.
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it's still a threat. the radar showing it could create all kinds of trouble along the gulf coast. chief meteorologist rick reichmuth is here with the forecast. >> always such a tough thing with messaging, downgrading mangedowngradingmakes you think. that's what happens as the storm goes over land. it was a minimum hurricane strength when it did so, any weakening will get it back to tropical storm force. that's what we've got going on. we heard the hurricane director saying a lot of the moisture is offshore, beginning to come onshore. we had the storm surge in. that pushes water in and we have rainfall on top of it and it continues to push it in based off of this wind direction right now and that water can't drain and the water levels were already very, very high. that's why this storm, while it may be a category 1 storm, it will cause a lot more damage than you would generally see from a storm like this. did come on-shore, moved over
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marsh island. there's not anybody living in marsh island but there is in intercoastal city. this is a look at where the storm is now. the center is back over here, across south central louisiana. take a look at these rain bands, way across parts of the mississippi and alabama. we've seen heavy rain from mobile all morning, stretching up towards mont montgomery, ala. this is one batch of rain, doesn't seem to be letting up at all. we have flood warnings across that area. we're starting to see showers move through new orleans, heaviest is going to be across southern parts of louisiana. also where we've been seeing the heaviest of the rains or the strongest winds. we had a six hour period with winds gusting over 70 miles an hour on this bouy offshore, that would be associated with that line of rain. when that moves onshore that's when we'll see the strongest of if winds. winds won't be the biggest story. highest wind gust was 66 miles an hour.
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all this energy that's here to the south has to pull towards the north and it's doing so really slowly. because of that, we think we'll be seeing that incredible rainfall total, somewhere in the 10 to 20-inches of rain. especially where you see the purple. that's where you see the highest risk for flooding. the moderate risk goes from tennessee to arkansas. all that water has to drain back down across the mississippi eventually art whic. leland: casey mentioned a moment ago we saw in louisiana, louisiana 1, the highway taken out by barry. for more on what's expected this weekend, i'm joined by jim any kintrel, president of the lafuge parish. what are the conditions like right now where you're at? >> the conditions are not too bad right now. we have bands that come in and
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go. it brings rain. probably having right now -- problem we're having right now is we had a cu couple levee's tt slid down. we sent assets to reform and rebuild as quickly as possible. we don't want them to completely be torn away. so that levees can hold back the water. the problem is, all the levees are saturated in rainfall and we're getting more and more rainfall. so hopefully at some point that it kind of slows down and we can stabilize all our levees, any part that has slid, we'll have to stabilize. we're very concerned about that. we have also sent sandbags and large hazmat bags to close up any portion that slid in. it's pretty good as far as i'm concerned because we haven't -- rainfall hasn't been so much that our pumps couldn't keep up.
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but if it keeps on raining, we don't know how long our pumps can manage to stabilize the water. it could be a big problem for us. eric: we're looking at one of the levees that was breached and the rain, a massive amount is over the gulf and hasn't hit yet. can you explain how you go back and repair a levee and those that are breached, can they actually be boosted up and protected completely? >> well, alodge as they're not -- as long as they're not breeshenotbreeshed complete -- d completely. we bring whatever a assets we he that we can bring, put sand in orange bags to stabilize the slide. then what we have to do later on, when it dries up r is go bak and restabilize the whole thing. right now it's just to make sure
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that it's not a breach where we have water gushing through. once it starts gushing through, then you have a real big problem because it's hard to stop the erosion taking place. eric: what do you expect the most damage could be, the grand aisle, the beautiful grand aisle, a lot of vacation homes out on the gulf and inland you have the flooding in the inland. >> it's on the gulf. our problem right now is water's overtopping la-1 which i heard you say, that the sheriff has taken pictures, we have maybe a couple feet of water on top of our main artery that goes to grand aisle. once it is damaged it takes a while to put it back in place so people can use it. i hope the water doesn't cut the road in half where we're going to have to come back with a lot of materials to stabilize it. eric: what have you learned, finally, from the experience in katrina, the water pumps have
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been rehabilitated, billions of dollars spent in new orleans, but in the past flooding, they had the flood of 2016, some have failed. are you more confident now than you have been in the past? >> well, that was the main thing i worked on is making sure that all our pumps in our system is at 100% and we have achieved that about six months ago. luckily, we did. now, as you know, once you run pumps they're slowly one or two go down and the main thing is to get parts quickly to restart them again. it's hard to keep up. we have 89 pump stations and most of them have multiple pumps in them. you have a lot of materials, a lot of to pumps to take care of, mechanic-wise and getting parts for them. it's very hard to keep the pumps running. so far we have just about
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everything running, everything is just about 100% throughout the system. so as long as the levees don't fail, i think we'll be in good shape and we can stabilize those, if we catch them in time. eric: we certainly hope you are and will be in good shape. jim anjimmy kintrel. our thoughts and prayers are with you and the people of your parish. >> thank you very much and say prayers for us. we need them. eric: we will do that. >> from louisiana to mississippi, we'll get an update from the governor as tropical storm barry moves in. stay with us. our coverage continues. alk about your insurance unless you're complaining about it. you go on about how...'s so confusing it hurts my brain. ya i hear ya... or say you can't believe... much of a hassle it is! and tell anyone who'll listen... (garbled)'s so expensive!
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arthel: the state of mississippi declaring a state of emergency. people there bracing for heavy rains and storm surge that could trigger massive flooding. joining me on the phone now is mississippi governor phil bryant. governor, thank you so much for taking time to talk with us this afternoon. busy, busy day for you, busy weekend i'm sure. if you could first of all tell us what the weather is like now, from your perspective, your biggest concern at this time and come nightfall. >> as you know, the storm came ashore at about 10:00 a.m., mainland central louisiana, also here on the mississippi gulf coast. heavy rain is our concern. flooding. and this has been something that's been going on in mississippi since february, particularly in the mississippi delta, as we see this storm coming ashore, on the mississippi gulf coast, southwest mississippi, moving up the mississippi river to an already flooded mississippi delta, 540,000 acres under water
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since february in the mississippi delta. so we're worried about localized flooding. we've got for example in hancock county, about 287 streets have flooded already. people that we are warning not to go into those areas, particularly driving into flooded streets will be a danger, something we're constantly worried about. we're here at the crtc, mississippi national guard headquarters in gulf port, mississippi, evaluating the wind and the water, watching the surge, how it will move up the rivers and contribute terries, flooding areas throughout mississippi. we're prepared with boat teams. we have 3200 soldiers standing by in the event that might need them, three teams with high water vehicles, 24 members of the boat rescue team, all the assets we're moving forward in the event that -- that as we believe it will occur, flooding in a and around the gulf coast d
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throughout mississippi. arthel: i know you're warning residents to stay off of flooded local streets. overall, what are the current orders for residents and are they complying? >> they are. we have no mandatory evacuation at this time. people on the mississippi gulf coast and throughout mississippi are accustomed to weather conditions and they understand the threat that occurs an with flooded streets. they have been doing a remarkable job. we have areas that -- where shelters are open, people particularly from louisiana are coming, some 35 individuals in a shelter in hancock county, moving from louisiana into mississippi. we expect that to increase. we will make all adjustments necessary for those that are individuals that are coming from louisiana, our neighbors to the west, to make them as safe and comfortable as we possibly can
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on a temporary basis. our citizens do a remarkable job. the first thing they will do is reach out to neighbors and families, to make sure if they need help, they will provide it. arthel: i'm from louisiana. and the two states are always working together to make sure that we're all safe. do you have, governor, all the resources you need at those shelters that you've opened up for the folks of louisiana? and also, are you getting the support you need from the federal government? >> oh, absolutely. we do have -- the red cross, salvation army, churches, if you're from louisiana, you know they're do a remarkable job. people come together at a time like this like none other, particularly here in the south. i've been on the phone this morning to the dhs, acting secretary, fema director, white house, homeland security, secretary of commerce i spoke to yesterday, i reached out to governor john bell edwards in louisiana and let him know what assets we might be able to
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share. so we are working, the federal government has been on the ground here for several days now with fema and so we have everything that we need and we are moving all of those personnel and assets into the affected area, just now. and we will provide that -- those assets to the people that need them and hope and pray that this is not the disaster that it could be and look now to the long range effects of this gulf as fresh water has been pouring into it for the last several months and this will only cause additional problems in our mississippi gulf and the sea life that's there. arthel: how are you bracing for that, sir? >> there's not much that we can do. we're working with the corps of engineer as we look at the bonnie carrie spillway and how long it will stay open. there were hopes we could close the spillway that feeds the
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water into the mississippi river and other areas and onthe gulf. all we can do is work with the corps of engineers and try to reduce the effect of fresh water as it plunges into the salt water of the gulf coast. we saw the mortality rate of dolphins and sea turtles increase. algae bloom has closed many of the beaches. we will be back on monday morning with our team, working on that as soon as we're able to stand down from the threats of flooding that are occurring as we speak here in mississippi and louisiana. arthel: very good, governor. before i let you go, i want to ask about the casinos, that's a big economic impact on the state there. are they closed now? i'm guessing based on the pictures we've been showing. when will they reopen, do you know? >> i do not know. we normally would allow them to make that decision on their own but obviously if we see a threat to individuals, particularly in the areas in an around the
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casinos, we'll reach out to them about closing and try to keep the public notified. but they do a really good job of understanding when it is their time to make that decision on their own and so we never had a problem with having to go to casinos and ask them to close. they realize it's their responsibility to help take care of their customers and they do a very good job of that. arthel: governor, i see a big gator in the water there, we're showing pictures. i'm from louisiana so it doesn't completely freak me out. my co-anchor here is like what is that in the water and what are you going to do about it? >> well, our wildlife is responding to that and so we are not only looking at that, but as you know, high water brings in some of those gators. but snakes and other wildlife, we're concerned, particularly in the mississippi delta about the deer and other wildlife population that's been struggling, since so much of the
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land is under water. department of wildlife and fisheries do a remarkable job. they'll be able to come out and remove the animals safely. they're accustomed to gators in the water here. it's not as big a concern as it might seem to other people. arthel: governor bryant, your twitter handle is at phil bryant ms, as in mississippi, so folks can be updated by you via twitter. thank you very much. >> we will be. thank you so much. arthel: good luck. eric: it's a reminder that wildlife is so affected, can be, by these type of storms. as we're hearing, authorities hoping the new flood gates hand reinforced levee's will hold off barry. the salvation army is deployed. we'll tell you their story, next. whoa.
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my doctors again ordered me to take aspirin, and i do. be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen. listen to the doctor. take it seriously. prpharmacist recommendedne memory support brand. you can find it in the vitamin aisle in stores everywhere. prevagen. healthier brain. better life. arthel: so i just spoke with mississippi governor phil bryant on preparations for barry in his state. for a firsthand look on the ground there, let's go to steve harrigan, live in bay st. louis, right on the gulf. hey, steve. >> reporter: you can see the surf behind me churning pretty good, the rain starting to come in again too. we've seen steady bands of rain coming in. as you spoke with the governor, that is what they're worried about. we could see 10 to 20 inches of rain here. that could create flooding, not just along the coast, but inland as well, as far up as jackson
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they are concerned especially in towns along smaller rivers in mississippi. they're concerned about potentially catastrophic flooding. we've seen high water vehicles here in bay st. louis already out. we rode along in one this morning, a military vehicle around 5 feet offer the ground. they were looking for people who needed help. since katrina, most of the houses built are 10 to 30 feet off the ground here. so most of the people we saw did not need help. there's a foot of water on the ground but we spoke to the deputy fire chief who said sometimes even veterans get surprised by these storms. >> most of the time it's where the water has came up too fast on them and that's when we'll take our rescue vehicles and come down. every now and then you get the elderly person that is not able to and that's what we're there for. we'll come down and get them out. >> reporter: we expect the
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governor to have a press conference about one hour from now. they have had several days to prepare here, more than 80,000 bags, they've got high water vehicles and also swift boats ready especially along the coastal area, to carry out emergency rescues if necessary. arthel, back to you. arthel: steve harrigan there right in bay st. louis, mississippi. thank you, steve. eric: for more on the emergency response and how people are being helped, i'm joined by terry lightheart, the salvation army's director of emergency services for the gulf coast. we take the salvation army for granted. you guys and the red cross, they always seem to show up when it's needed. how have you mobileized for barry? >> actually, we started earlier in the week, having coordination calls with our emergency management partners on the local level and state level and of course i'm actually here now at the louisiana emergency operation center and we also have south at the mississippi
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state emergency operation center as well as representatives in the local emergency operation centers so we make sure we get information to apply the resources where they're needed after it's safe to do so. eric: what type of supplies do you have? what is standing by. >> what we have in mississippi and nationally, we have well-trained personnel who are ready to assist as needed. locally, within the alabama, louisiana, mississippi area, we have 30 mobile feeding units on standby to provide nooned food d hydration and hygiene and cleanup kits and trained staff that provide emotional and spiritual care. eric: it's amazing that you not only provide food and water, but also deal with the spiritual aspect of when people have to go through such traumatic events such as this. >> absolutely. again, throughout the united states and worldwide, the salvation army has trained
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ministers who live and work in these communities that are affected and so we definitely want to make sure that we are providing for the spiritual care of those individuals that we work with. eric: tell us a bit about the army's mission and its core and you've got the food, you deal with the pastoral aspects and this can be hard on the workers because you're there in the disasters, helping other citizens. >> every day throughout the world, the salvation army is providing service on many different levels to citizens in all of these communities, whether it's through our rehabilitation services, our homeless shelters which we're doing right now in eight different locations on the coast where we're providing shelter for the homeless population during this event as well. eric: you have to think about the homeless facing that as well as in hatesburg, you have a center for evacuees, you have to
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prepare ahead of time so people don't massively show up without any ability to have the basic necessities of life. >> absolutely. eric: and finally, you how can people help? where does the money come, donations, you can go to >> absolutely, right now because we're still monitoring the situation, we're encouraging everyone to please consider monetary donations at shall and later on there may be a plea for donations, we are asking for monetary donations. eric: in kind donations, you mean clothing and that sort of thing. >> the salvation army, at the time of -- once we identify what the need is, it's not necessarily clothing. it could be anything from cleaning supplies to whatever the need may be, once it's identified, we do situational awareness and we identify the needs of the community. we will make sure at that time
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that we communicate that to the public so we don't encourage any of that at this time but just for everyone to stay abreast of the news and we will make sure to get that message out when it's needed. eric: it is comforting and reassuring that the salvation army is out there. i've been on disaster stories and we see that truck and we get that hot coffee and it means a lot and we hope hopefully you won't be stretched too far with this. we thank you for joining us and we thank you for the mission that the salvation army does. >> absolutely. thank you for your time. eric: arthel. arthel: some levees overflowing in louisiana, trapping people and livestock in the floodwaters. we cover this part of the story, coming up. and it really shows. with all that usaa offers why go with anybody else? we know their rates are good, we know that they're always going to take care of us. it was an instant savings and i should have changed a long time ago. it was funny because when we would call another insurance company,
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arthel: tropical storm barry slowing moving along the gulf coast, drenching the area with heavy rainfall. charlotte foster is a resident of denim springs, louisiana, a low-lying area east of baton
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rouge where officials handed out 20,000 bags ahead of the storm. judge foster, i want to ask you what is it like in front of your home right now. >> right now we're having gusts of wind. the rain is consistent. we've been having rain and no rain and now it's consistently range and the wind is going back and forth pretty hard. arthel: i understand your husband, dr. foster is there with you. why did you choose to ride it out? >> well, you know, it's one of those where we're more concerned about flooding. the wind is not the biggest issue with us right now after going through 2016 when somebody starts talking about high water, we get a little nervous around here,. arthel: of course. i'm from new orleans, judge foster. >> so you understand. arthel: i'm nervous right there with you. you decided to stay and you're right, it's the water that everybody's concerned about. what's your backup plan at this point? >> you know, after going through 2016, we kind of have a plan as
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far as just being prepared. we've gotten cinder blocks ready in case we need to lift the furniture. we have a two-story so we'll take things upstairs. we're ready to see what happens. crest won't happen for a couple of days, somewhere around tuesday. we have friends who have already moved furniture out of their homes or lifted things, moved their cars, just in anticipation of the unknown. arthel: do you have a generator there? >> we don't. it's a good question. we've been going back and forth. i have a feeling by next hurricane season or the end of this one, we will. arthel: that's a good idea. i'm hoping and praying right there with you, judge, that the water doesn't get high enough that you would have to -- i don't want to say become too late for you to get out of there. do you have a backup plan? when do you say okay, honey, we're out? >> we have lots of friends and family. actually, my dad's home did not
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flood in 2016. so if worse case scenario, we'll head over there to his home. arthel: that's good. now here is one of the big questions. did you already make groceries and do you have enough in the liquor cap net to ge cabinet toh this. >> we made that run yesterday. it's funny that you bring that up. my husband was like there's certain things we need to have. we're good to go. we made the groceries. arthel: i appreciate your time, judge charlotte foster. good luck to you and your husband. >> thank you so much. eric: you are from louisiana. arthel: through and through, baby. [ laughter ] eric: there's other news to tell you about. vice president mike pence defending the trump administration's response to the surge of migrants at the southern border. the administration has come under criticism for the conditions of the centers. the vice president is calling for congress to reform asylum laws and provide more funding after a temporary visit to a
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detense facility in -- detention facility in texas yesterday. >> reporter: americans got the opportunity to see conditions inside these border detention facilities firsthand, courtesy of vice president pence's delegation tour. he was accompanied by republican senators on his trip and he viewed holding areas with children and one occupied by nearly 400 adult men, confined and with no place to sleep. >> are you comfortable? are you being well taken care of? do you have snacks? comfortable? do you have a place to get washed up and clean. >> reporter: the vp thanked border patrol agents he encountered along the way and talked about what he had seen. >> i couldn't be more impressed with the compassionate work that our customs and border protection are doing here at this facility. the truth is, they're operating within the very careful guidelines for detaining these single adults. the time has come to stop the
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irresponsible rhetoric about the way the people are being cared for and treated. >> reporter: officials in the rio grande say they're overwhelmed with migrants crossing the southern border, citing thousands of arrivals taken into custody every day. capitol hill democrats say that's no excuse for what they call the trump administration's abominable treatment of migrants. >> there's no need to arrest innocent people and treat them no differently than criminals when they're pursuing basic human rights. >> reporter: as usual, reaction to yesterday's foosage of the detention facilities in washington has been sharply divided along partisan lines. this as thousands of people nationwide are bracing for i.c.e. raids president trump has ordered beginning tomorrow. as many as 2,000 migrants and family members are expected to be targeted. eric. eric: gil gillan, thanks so -- gillian, thanks so much. tens of thousands of people are
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without power in louisiana as the storm has made landfall. coming up next we talk to the mayor of morgan city on their preparations and predictions. ♪ applebee's all you can eat is back. now that's eatin' good in the neighborhood.
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arthel: virginia's governor was heaping to address his ideas for preventing gun violence but the state legislature ended the governor's special session almost as soon as it began, kicking the issue to after state elections this fall. fox newsradio correspondent evan brown explains. >> reporter: the deadly shooting in may in virginia beach prompted virginia's governor to call for a special legislative session on new gun laws. >> i will be asking for votes and laws, not thoughts and
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prayers. >> reporter: lawmakers have declined to take up any of his proposals, saying the di vie sievdivisive issue should wait l after the november election. the legislature met for two hours and voted to end what they called a political show. >> the governor called a session, a demand for floor votes, the road show all demonstrate to me how the whole thing is an election year stunt. >> reporter: among the eight proposals, expanding background checks and barring people from purchasing more than one handgun a month. none of these ideas got a vote but republicans did send them to the state crime commission to study their impact. >> i'm absolutely shocked by what we saw on the house r floo. this was inappropriate assertion of majority rule. >> reporter: republican ideas include stiffer penalties for anyone convicted of gun crimes,
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teaching firearm safety in schools and focusing on mental health. the virginia beach gunman did use a suppresser and the governor wants to ban those, his two firearms were legally purchased a year apart so the governor's proposal of one handgun a month would not have helped. eric: now back to coverage of tropical storm barry. barry packing maximum sustained winds of 70 miles an hour. even as it weakens a bit, the storm still threatening to trigger massive flooding across a stretch of the gulf coast. franfrank grizzaffi is the mayof morgan city. thank you for joining us. the middle of what you're doing, we're seeing live pictures of your city. what are conditions like now and how bad do you expect them to go? >> it's starting to get to the most intensity we've seen. mostly a wind event. we watched the forecast the last two days, that called for 2 20 o
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30 inches of rain. that type of rainfall in our community would have been devastating. we prepared for a rain event. what we got was a wind event. we haven't had a hurricane in morgan city in the past 10 years. it's taken down several utility poles, a lot of trees. it's going to be a big cleanup in the city. from such a small storm. eric: it's a wind event. sadly, most of the rain is still out in the gulf. you could get 20 or 30 inches perhaps. what would that mean for your infrastructure? >> what that means is our city -- we have a great levee system. we're not worried about the storm surge. we're worried about the rainfall. we can retain the first 5 inches of rain, after that we can pump out 1 inch per hour. a forecast of 20 to 30 inches, that gave us great concern. we got with the governor's office. they shipped in extra pumping extra at this. they've got that installed, fueled up. we have high water equipment and we're ready tore the rai red --n
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if it comes. eric: did we have mandatory evacuations? >> we had voluntary evacuations. we have 90% of the city out of power. when i look at our community right now, bet you we've got 90% of the community stayed intact. we've got everybody in-house, working in the city without any lights. we'll do what we can to get them back on as soon as we get the wind out of th way. eric: how are folks dealing with this? you can get used to this, being where you are. what has this done to your spirit. >> we've had several big hurricanes in morgan city. we haven't had one in 10 years. people forget what it's like to sit in their house without electricity. they're learning it now. get the flashlight going or light the candle, brings you back to the old days. but hopefully we'll get this through. they talked to the weather service, they say maybe by 6:00 we'll have most of this out
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the way and if that happens, we can get back to work and try to get these folks with some lights back on. eric: and there are concerns around warning about the possibility of flooding. >> that's our biggest concern. we're not going to have any flash flood type stuff here in morgan estimate but what we will have is if it rains more than our pump capacity can pump out, that can pose a problem. they've got to get the levels back, the 20 to 30 inches of rain forecast we had yesterday really put the fear in you. that's been rolled back a little bit. so if we could spread out 10, 1y and-a-half period, we should be fine. but if not, we brought in extra pumping capacity. our retainage ponds are basically to the dirt right now, waiting for what was forecasted to arrive. eric: and mr. mayor, are you still there? >> yes, still here. eric: can you explain to folks how that works? because they wonder where does the water go? how do you get it snout and what
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if it comes back. >> morgan city is typically on an island. there's a river that runs down the side of us and drains 30% of this country's water. we have a 17-foot federal flood protection wall with gates, they have 27 gates. we have 23 of those gates closed as we speak. the river was already high before this storm comes in. this storm has raised it an additional 3 feet. so our river right now stands at 10 feet. our wall's at 17 feet. our flood protection for rising waters is in pretty good shape. the problem is, our entire city is under pumps. so if we can't pump it out, it doesn't go he anywhere. we have seven pump stations that are capable of pumping one inch an hour. ias long as we don't get a massive rainstorm that lasts for hours on end, we're in good shape. this forecast called for a massive rain storm that we couldn't handle. the governor's office september
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extra pump in preparation for the rain. we haven't seen it yet. but the game's not over. eric: one thing we've seen recently are the storms have increased in their intensity and the amount of deluge of water that is dumped and at the same time they're slower, like this, so there's more time over a specific area to dump tons of water that we're not prepared for. >> you're exactly right. that's what we fear. like i said, a city deamount of -- steady amount of rain or little break and we can catch up. if it comes and keeps coming, that poses a problem to someone like a city of morgan city. we're protected up to the 17 feet. we've got a lot of room to pump. the problem is, we can't keep up the amount of rain we're getting, that's when we have a problem. so far in this event, we've been able to keep up. we haven't seen what was advertised. but we're not out of the woods yet. eric: when you say have a
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problem, what happens then? >> well, what happens then is that water goes from the subsurface drainage to the street and it starts crawling up your driveway and next thing you know you're in your living room with water coming in. we try to avoid that. we haven't had that here in our city's history. and -- but we also hadn't had a rain forecast like what we were expecting with this one. so when that storm drives a little further to the west, that might be a blessing in disguise. eric: finally, mayor, they predicted landfall would be your city, morgan city but it hit about 60 miles away in the intercoastal, so in a sense you could have dodged at least in terms of being hit directly, you dodged one. >> yeah, we were actually hoping when it was going to be 25 miles to our west, that's what concerned us because that will put us in the northeast quadrant and that's the most severe area. at that point we wish it would have jogged right over us, we would rather take the eyewall than the northeast quadrant
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where 2 they have the heavy rai. in this case it went farther enough west to where we're taking a punch with a category 1, we're getting a lot of damage with the winds of 60, 70 miles an hour, gusts, but for the most part we prepared for a rain event and we got sucker punched with a wind event. eric: we'll see if you can stay that way with the rains coming, mayor frank grizzaffi. we are with you and will stay with you throughout this event. thank you, mayor. arthel: we're tracking the path of tropical storm barry. more coverage after this break. hey, who are you? oh, hey jeff, i'm a car thief... what?! i'm here to steal your car because, well, that's my job. what? what?? what?! (laughing) what?? what?! what?! [crash] what?! haha, it happens. and if you've got cut-rate car insurance,
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arthel: barry officially making landfall in louisiana and downgrading back to tropical storm but the danger is far from over as heavy rain rolls in the region. i'm arthel neville. eric: arthel, thinking about you and your family, you're from new orleans, mom is okay. i'm eric sean, power has been knocked out to tens of thousands of people in louisiana, that's where the storm came ashore and hit the coastal city near lafayette, just southwest or so of new orleans, louisiana and mississippi declaring state of emergency, rainfall predictions


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